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Showing posts from July, 2009

Imagining the merits of an Ex-Christian Bible

by oddbird1963

Image via WikipediaI believe an unofficial anthem for many who frequent is John Lennon’s song, “Imagine.” Certainly, it is the theme song of the weekly broadcast of the Freedom from Religion Foundation on Air America.

Lennon’s goal in this classic musical piece was that the world would somehow join together in unity. I see in “Imagine” an implication that along with no heaven, no hell, and no religion, there would be no Bible in the traditional Christian, Muslim or Judaic sense.

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by Troy Conrad

Lately, I’ve had many atheists write to me, asking if now is a good time to become religious again. It seems that the departure of the Bush Administration has awoken the vast majority of the atheist community to the simple fact that theocracy is no longer a threat here or abroad. It is high time to embrace what we once called superstition, dust off that Bible lifted in protest from the Holiday Inn, and delve once more into the church, dear friends. For some, a conversion or reconversion to reverence seems a daunting task. As freethinkers, we’ve gotten a bit rusty in the worship department. When working out the faith muscle, we must start slowly so it doesn’t get overtaxed. Start out at the Joel Osteen level, before you consider going full Falwell. If you’re one of the 5% still on the fence about taking this sacred surge, ponder the inarguable, massive benefit of taking the faith train to Godville.

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If it's a relationship, it sure is one-sided

Sent in by Not Sure Anymore

Image by ஐ★ღ§wêê†Båbίί®åєღ★ஐ via FlickrI grew up as a Catholic in a Hispanic family, my mom was seriously into the church while my father just followed her along. As I grew up, I had questions about the bible, god, I didn't understand the trinity, why Jesus had to die and this sin that was committed years and years ago by two people…why was it my fault? There were never any answers or usually my mom would say, “You can’t read the bible because you don’t understand and you’re not close to god like a priest is, ask him and let him guide you.” (what?!) I did my first communion, my first confirmation, all of the catholic crap (sorry I believe that's what it is) I had to go through. I had crosses of every shape, color and different metals. I proudly fixed it on my chain and made sure it showed in all my pictures or when I went out, after all, I wanted everyone to know that “I believed”.

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Christianity -- a bridge to nowhere

Sent in by Matt

So here is my story in short.

I was raised Catholic in the Midwest -- mostly going to church on holidays and random Sundays here and there. In high school some friends invited me to an Evangelical nationwide youth group called Young Life. I went, thought it was completely cheesy, but went again every now and there because the girls were cute and pretty sweet. One summer they talked me into the one week summer camp up in Minnesota and I decided to go, a little apprehensive about what they'd do to me. Aside from the weird spiritual AA type meetings each night before bed, it was actually a decent time. And, eventually, they broke down the gospel via the bridge diagram at the end of the week. Many kids "accepted Christ" then and there, but I held back. It was the first time I had heard The Message, and though it certainly made more sense than the random monk-type songs I heard at mass, I thought the idea of the vast majority of humans burning forever wa…

The Insanity of It All

By Mriana

I need to rant, because I am currently sick of religion and apologize for not responding to many blogs lately due to being sick of religion. Sadly, living where I am, I see and hear it all around me almost every day, but it is worse when it is in my face.

Let us start first with Separation of Church and State, which appears to be nonexistent where I live. I tried for years to shelter my sons from Evangelicalism, even here in Pentecostal Land, but that ended for my younger son when he first went into treatment four years ago.

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Your website is devilish

Image via WikipediaA letter from jahsgirl

Your website is devilish, u don't know how much damage u are doing to yourself and others. I can't believe that u disrespect the God who created u and gives u the air to breathe every single second of your life. Hopefully u can ask for mercy soon before its too too too late. I will repent if I where you. Man I will sure pray for you; you need it.

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Thunderf00t vs. Ray Comfort

A 10-part YouTube discussion between YouTube atheist commentator Thunderf00t and well known Christian evangelist/apologist Ray Comfort.

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Give Me Reason

By Neal Stone

Image by mysterious briefcase via FlickrSo here I am. My life is good, not perfect, but good. Happily married, nice home with a nice big yard, motor home, hot tub, good job. I have food in the fridge and my bills are paid. This all has come about AFTER quitting church.

My “godly” examples that surround me, friends, family and so on, are always saying I need to get in church and follow god or get right with god.

My “godly” examples are people who are always getting fired, can't pay their bills, life is a mess with divorce, dead end jobs. Let's take a closer look shall we.

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By E. Chamberlain, MD, San Diego CA

Image via WikipediaSo...

Christians say the bible is the inspired word of god. We know we can destroy that claim by a simple honest appraisal of any one of thousands of bible verses. And I think it's crucial that we attack the bible at every turn of the page.

But, I haven't seen much in the way of an assault on the Psalms. So, for a change of pace from our more common criticisms of Christianity, this essay challenges the claim that the Psalms are beautiful, inspired, or brilliant. My conclusion is that they are wholly uninspired-- even given the context and culture and level of education of their day.

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Dealing with Family Rejection

A letter from Robin

Image by LaMenta3 via FlickrI'm new on this website and have been lurking around a bit. I generally like the civility here. It feels like a caring and loving place, for the most part. Except for the few trolls, who are not even close to as bad as what I've seen... I'm really liking it here. Hell, I even like reading the troll responses... just so I can keep up on all of the insanity ;). It's rare to find this on anonymous forums. Very "Christ-like." I've felt for a long time that I'm a better "Christian" than they are... if we are gaging it by Christ's words... to help the poor, the sick, the disabled, the unfortunate... to love our neighbors as ourselves. Atheists and agnostics are fucking amazing people!!! But we knew that already, didn't we?

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The Story of Joe B.

By billybobbibb

Image via WikipediaThis is the story of Joe B., a ten-year-old boy. Joe B. lived with his mother, Mrs. Smith, in an upper-middle class neighborhood. He got decent grades in school, and he was remarkably obedient to his mother. He was diligent in all of his chores, especially feeding his cat Skittles and his dog Fluffy. He would often create artwork and presents for his mother, which she enjoyed very much. For Joe B., loving his mother was second nature.

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Between two worlds and outside both

Image via WikipediaSent in by rasputins love child

Brothers and sisters,

I have hesitated writing my testimonial as I'm afraid I will be identified by my family. I now feel the people here deserve to hear my story, especially after I have ruffled so many feathers. What you are about to read is a mere thumbnail as time and space don't allow me to fully disclose my past. I have never told anyone this story. You are the first.

I was born into a Russian religion called Molokan which means in Russian "Milk drinkers". My father was born in America but his heritage is 100% Russian. My mother, however, is not. She is a mixed race American of English, Italian, Cherokee and who knows how many other influences.

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I Did Not Understand

by Shelby


I will relate some life experiences that helped shape my conclusions about religion and the natural world around me. All personal anecdotes are factual to the best of my knowledge, taking into consideration that some events occurred nearly 50 years ago. My parents are still living and are fundamentalist Christians to this day. I love and respect them very much and understand that they raised me under a belief system that they sincerely thought to be true. There are all sorts of people in this world, good and bad, Christian and Atheist, and no one should be judged solely by their religious beliefs or lack thereof.

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Evolución no fue el motivo - Evolution wasn't the reason

Originally written in English (below) by Lorena . Translated to Spanish by Brian.

Image by gezelle via FlickrCuando era soltera, termine un par de relaciones sin ningún interés romántico en el horizonte. Tenía mis razones para no mantener la relación y, en cada caso, estaba convencida de que si ese era mi último noviazgo, pues quedarme sola estaba bien.

When I was single and dating, I walked away from a couple of relationships without a new romantic interest in my horizon. I had my reasons for no longer wanting to pursue the connection, being quite convinced, in each case, that if he was the last man on earth I could possibly have, then being alone was perfectly fine.

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Mourning for the living

By summerbreeze

Image by Javã Társis via FlickrI recently returned from deep in the Bible Belt, having attended a nephew's wedding. ( one atheist amongst 300 fundamentalists ! ) My brother and sister-in-law, and my nieces and nephews are the only members of our family who live in the "Deep South."

Prior to moving there, my brother and sister-in-law ( known from now on as Ellie ) were bona fide hippies.

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By agnosticator

Image via WikipediaMost Christians in America agree that THE TEN COMMANDMENTS are the pinnacle of morality and think they should be displayed or read at every opportunity. If we all obeyed or valued them, our country would be moral and crime free! At least this is what they seem to saying. But do they realize there are two other sets of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS they ignore ? One version differs considerably with their preferred set, and is found in Exodus 34:14-28. Another version is in Deuteronomy 5:6-21 and is similar to the Christians' top ten choice from Exodus 20:2-17.

This discrepancy is only the beginning of their problem...

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Christian Belief Through the Lens of Cognitive Science: Part 5.5 of 6

By Valerie Tarico

Image by zachstern via FlickrHow Beliefs Resist Change

The Jesuits have a saying sometimes attributed to Francis Xavier, “Give me the child until he is seven, and I will give you the man.” The Jesuits were a tad optimistic, but ample research on identity formation shows that religious, cultural, and political identity become established by early adulthood and rarely change thereafter except in response to crisis. In fact, even in the face of crisis, core beliefs about who we are and why we are here, can be remarkably resilient.

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Cheesus: The Cheeto Jesus

Dallas Couple Sees Jesus Inside Cheese Snack

Many people have seen and heard about the likeness of Jesus turning up in unlikely places. Now, one North Texas family says they found Jesus in a cheese snack.

Dan Bell found his vision of Jesus last week at the gas station. "We were leaving town. I stopped by to fill up with gas and bought some snacks."

Inside a 99-cent bag of Cheetos brand cheese snacks, Dan and his wife Sara found something unique.

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Angry and disillusioned with the Christian cancer

By iwishihad2000feet

Image via WikipediaStandard story: Born into a Christian family, raised a Christian.

Evidently, it didn't occur to my parents that my mind wasn't fully mature and I had no idea what the hell they were getting me into. It didn't occur to them to ask what I wanted -- they just presumed upon me that I naturally wanted to be a Christian too.

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My thoughts for the day

From Jackie27

Image via WikipediaI have a few thoughts that I want to share with everyone. We've all heard of the term "Freedom in Christ." Basically this means you have all the freedom you want, as long as you stick to the rules. You're not free to ask the difficult questions, not free to doubt, not free to think for your self, not free to do what you want (you should be doing what god wants). It's kind of like being put in jail and being told you have all the freedom you want to roam the grounds, but you don't have real freedom because you can't actually leave the 4 walls of the jail.

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Write for Reason

By WizenedSage

Image by Esther_G via FlickrThose of us who read these pages regularly know well how destructive Christianity can be to society and personal mental health. It is important that we fight this superstitious nonsense whenever and wherever we can. Personally, over the past few months, I have taken any mention of the Bible, Jesus, etc. in the letters to the editor of our local weekly newspaper as an invitation to counter with the message that the Bible is not a fit authority on anything. Frankly, I have been amazed on several occasions at what the editors will publish; with just how far they will go. Below is a letter I wrote which came out in the paper just today. I encourage any and all of you to help spread the word of reason in your area. You might be surprised at what you can get published.

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Out of God's Closet

by Stephen F. Uhl, Ph.D.

Image by George Eastman House via Flickr On Mothers Day, 1967, my eight siblings and I circled the huge table at Mom's place. No one there knew my hypocrisy when I, the family priest, blessed that heavy table as requested. No one yet knew my secret.

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Staunch Catholic, father of nine, loses faith

Sent in by Stephen

Image by Edward Dullard via FlickrI’m an exChristain. I’m very pleased to have escaped from the lies of religion, but the price of freedom from religion has been a very, very expensive price for me to pay. I am 46 years old and for nearly all of those 46 years I was a Christian of the Roman Catholic variety.

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Shackled by guilt

A letter from Carleen

Image by Darwin Bell via FlickrOK, so I realize that I might be as bad as his parents say that I am. They are just scared that he will be influenced by me away from his fundamental Christian Church. Originally I had no intention of doing anything of the kind, because I believed that no one person can fully understand "God," therefore no one person can be sure that they have the only "truth."

After I had been with him for awhile, he was kicked out of his family's business and told that he should fear God because of his choice to date me -- as I stood there, looking on, silently.

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My Thoughts on the Life Changing Power of Religion

By Bill J

Image by Yersinia via FlickrMost people view the architecture of life rather simply. This life is a process of purification, or separation for the next world, the real world. This life is like a boot camp, do it right here and you will reap the rewards in the next life, or fail here and find yourself separated from everything good. Most people believe in eternal life, a god or life force. Most people base their entrance into the good life based on what they do now, or how they treat people in this life, fundamentalist Christianity does not. In fundamentalist Christianity there are no second chances in the next life and what you believe now is everything and if you really believe, good works will follow.

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Freedom at last!

By Finally Done

I was raised in a fundamentalist Christian church, graduated from an *extremely* fundamentalist college, and for several years "served" in full-time fundamentalist Christian ministry as a missionary wife overseas and then as a small country church pastor's wife in the U.S. More recently, I was a regular Sunday School teacher and a columnist for a national fundamentalist Christian magazine -- and yet I never felt at peace, and I always had questions (apparently too many and too critical for anyone's listening pleasure).

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Irrespective of What You Think – My de-Conversion Story

Image by lincoln-log via FlickrSent in by Brian
I was raised Catholic though my parents were hardly devout. Looking back, I sometimes wonder why they brought us to church at all. I can only assume it was out of some kind of unspoken obligation to their parents. I received my first communion, was an altar boy and felt a certain degree of closeness toward God. At the very least I never questioned that He was real, even though I frequently got into trouble for acting out in Sunday school. My family attended church dutifully, if not faithfully, until I was confirmed in sixth grade, at which point we stopped going altogether. I tell you this so you’ll know, I didn’t de-convert because of overbearing parents who left a bad impression of my religion. Even though I was initially “forced” into the church, when I started going back at the age of seventeen, it was entirely my decision. An easy one at that. Fear of Hell drove me into the pews. That’s the one thing Catholics (and later, I would rea…

Does this make sense to you? It makes sense to Christians!

By Neal Stone

Image by Sir_Robin12 via FlickrYou have two children. A son and a daughter. You place a bowl of candy in front of them and tell them not to touch it. You leave the room. They give in and eat the candy, you come in and not only punish them but their children as well who weren't even involved.

Does this make sense to you? It makes sense to Christians!

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Religion: Bringing people together and tearing them apart

Submitted by David S.

Image by alasdair.d via FlickrI have submitted a few rants and testimonies in the past. I wanted to outpour my feelings and emotions on my current situation. To give some quick background, 3 years ago I married a wonderful woman, who also happens to be a hardcore Christian. Her motto is "if it's in the Bible, it has to be true." I knew this going in and at the time of our marriage, I called myself a Christian as well and generally believed what I was exposed to me in my faith.

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By Stephen F. Uhl, Ph.D.

Image by Stitch via FlickrI am overly fed up with the use of the term, atheism, as a negative epithet. And I am now just about as fed up with how we tolerate eminent humanist writers saying atheism is a negative concept; it may look like a negative word; it is not a negative concept; it is a nonnegative concept.

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Revelation vs. information

Sent in by billybee

Image via WikipediaMy viewpoint is one of having been an evangelical Christian for many many years. Today I am a member of what is statistically the most disliked, mistrusted and reviled group of humans on this planet; I am an Atheist.

What causes a person go from being a born-again, spirit-filled, Bible believing Christian to becoming a person who completely rejects these faith based claims? Many believers have a pat (automatic) answer to this question, so, they won't hear the real explanation of why someone like myself turns away from ideas that I once believed, cherished and followed with all of my heart, soul and mind.They will dismiss the subject without any examination because to understand someone else's point of view is difficult, challenging and even sometimes threatening. It is easy to ignore an idea. Especially if you have been taught, the way I was, that to even allow certain ideas to into your field of thought will lead to spiritual suicide. In …

Mr. Deity and the Magic

Image via WikipediaMr. Deity is a series of two - to four-minute comedy films created by Brian Keith Dalton and distributed by Lazy Eye Pictures. It stars Brian Keith Dalton, Jimbo Marshall, Sean Douglas, and Amy Rohren. It first premiered on December 27, 2006. The show is once again broadcast on, after a brief spell on

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What Would (Should) Jesus (God) Do (Have Done)?

Image via WikipediaBy James C

Jesus, being God in the Trinity and therefore all-knowing, all powerful, merciful and loving, can be called to task for questionable actions in both the Old and New Testaments.

For instance…

When he instructed Adam to not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil… he KNEW that would be violated because he knew the future. So why didn’t he simply put a guard of cherubims and flaming sword to protect it, as he did later to keep A&E out of the Garden? Thus saving the world’s population from the guilt of original sin, in which they had no personal guilt!

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Enough faith?

By John L

Image via WikipediaJesus tells us in the New Testament that if a person has the faith equivalent to that of a mustard seed, we could move a mountain.

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End Times: A set of prophecies or a set of hallucinations?

By Valerie Tarico

Image by J. Mark Bertrand via FlickrReal Christians are going to disappear abruptly someday soon. The world is going to descend into a bloodbath while someone known as the antichrist attempts to seize control of the planet. That is what some of your neighbors think—and some of your politicians. Many of them even relish the thought. Is Revelation, the last book in the Bible, a set of prophecies or a set of hallucinations? Neither, says Reverend Rich Lang of Trinity United Methodist in Ballard, Washington.

If the Book of Revelation isn’t a blueprint that tells us what is coming in the End Times, what the heck is it?

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The God of Abuse

By Fuego

I've been trying to figure out why it is so difficult to get believers to even listen to why we left Christianity. Even though some of us experienced decades of solid Christian belief, we are dismissed as having never believed, or never "truly" believed. No matter what evidence we bring, no matter if we are aggressive or kind, there always seems to be an invisible wall of condescending resistance to any criticism or evidence against Christianity.

This may not be a new concept to some of you, but it all fell together for me today. The pattern so clearly fits with another relationship pattern among humans that it startled me. Christianity is a form of abuser/victim codependency.

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Damned Reprobates!

Sent in by Colin

Image via WikipediaI used to believe not only in Christianity, but in Calvinism. Now on the rare occasion I come across passages like the following, I want to puke my balls out.

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Some Random Thoughts on Love, Sex and Governor Sanford

By Bill J

I read some of the emails allegedly written by the Governor Sanford and his girlfriend from Argentina. A few sentences stood out to me as I read thru them. Gov. Sanford speaks of an emotional bank account full of love. I remember someone else who used this term back when I was a Christian. It got me thinking, is there such thing as a bank account of love? What is love in this context?

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The Little Christian Who Cried Wolf

By Neal Stone

Image via WikipediaYou've probably have heard the term “Crying Wolf” before. Here is the origin of that term. It is an old Aesop fable. One of my favorites.

“A bored Shepard boy who entertained himself by calling out “Wolf!". Nearby villagers who came to his rescue found that the alarms were false and that they had wasted their time. When the boy was actually confronted by a wolf, the villagers did not believe his cries for help and the wolf ate the flock.”

I have met Christians who have claimed how things will change or we are going to make changes and then swing back to the old ways. I have also met some who always proclaim some prophecy only to have it not come true over and over.

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We are all Equal

By Aimee

Like many people who once believed in Christianity, I was born into it and brought up with it. My parents attended a rather rare type of church, calling itself the Church of Christ, and it tried to the best of its ability to follow the New Testament as fully and completely as possible. This church is exceedingly absolutist - in fact, most of the sermons I can remember dealt entirely with pointing out what denominations of churches did wrong. We'd have a sermon on Catholicism, Mormonism, Baptist, Pentecostal etc etc.

In fact, I knew more about the depth and breadth of Christianity than any other Christian kid I met.

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If God Died Tomorrow, How Would You Know?

By E Chamberlain MD, San Diego CA

Well, it's finally happened, after praying for it for so long. God has revealed to me ways to tell if he exists. (I guess he wants me back.)

Here's one way to tell if god is real-- If god died tomorrow, how would you know? How could you tell? Would you just wonder why he hadn't shown up for work? Would you look around in church and wonder, 'Where is he?' Would you begin to be concerned because he hadn't returned your call? Would Christian Science Monitor newspapers begin to pile up somewhere? Or would we notice after a season that tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes oddly didn't happen this year? Or would they increase? Would the reports of miracle healings and speaking in tongues die down? Would those able to speak in tongues no longer be able to read and write in tongues?

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More on Paul's, Jesus', and Christianity's Moral Fallacies

By E Chamberlain MD, San Diego CA

After posting "Paul's And Jesus' Moral Fallacies" (June 22), I've been encouraged to elaborate more. I wanted that earlier essay to be brief enough to not seem preachy and to accommodate any attention span and be read during commercial breaks between, say, ESPN's Pardon The Interruption and Outside The Lines. This follow-up post won't do that. I apologize in advance, then, to those without a DVR and with other important things to do.

Much of this post here below is plagiarized, excised, or revised from my own earlier review of the movie "Jesus Camp," (posted in the forums section here at, a movie that was nominated for the 2006 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature), but I thought it worth it to get it to a broader audience than those who would read a movie review. And there are also some important additions, not presented in that movie review. So, if some of it sounds familiar to any of …


Encouraging de-converting and former Christians

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